Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2021, Vol. 45 ›› Issue (2): 174-186.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2020.0195

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Surface sporopollen and modern vegetation in Hongshanzui area, Altai, Xinjiang, China

LI Yuan-Yuan1,2, ZHANG Yun1,*(), KONG Zhao-Chen1, YANG Zhen-Jing3   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Vegetation and Environmental Change, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China
    2College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
    3Institute of Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences, Shijiazhuang 050061, China
  • Received:2020-06-17 Accepted:2020-09-23 Online:2021-02-20 Published:2021-02-07
  • Contact: ZHANG Yun
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971121);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41572331);Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA19050103)


Aims Our aims are 1) to explore the relationship between vegetation and sporopollen in the surface soil in the Hongshanzui area, which is located in the middle slope of the Altai Mountains, 2) to compare different sporopollen assemblages zones between the Hongshanzui area and the Kanas region, which is located in the western slope of the Altai Mountains of Xinjiang, and 3) to explore the relationships between surface sporopollen and environmental factors.
Methods We collected 37 surface soil samples and carried out modern vegetation survey in the Hongshanzui area along an altitudinal gradient from 745 to 2 413 m. Mathematical statistics and redundancy analysis (RDA) were applied to analyze the distribution pattern of sporopollen in surface soil and its relationships with modern vegetation.
Important findings The results showed that the sporopollen spectrum of surface soil in Hongshanzui area was divided into four zones from top to bottom along the altitudinal gradient, corresponding to the major vegetation types in this region, including subalpine meadow, mountain coniferous forest, shrub steppe and desert steppe. The typical tree species, Picea and Pinus pollen, and shrub species Ephedra,herbs Amaranthaceae and Artemisia,were extra representation in the region, mainly because of the impact of wind and rivers in sporopollen dispersal. Larix,Poaceae, and Cyperaceae had low representations in communities where they were dominant species. Many previous sporopollen studies have shown that the ratio of the percentage of pollen content ofArtemisia to Amaranthaceae (Ar/Am) was a good indicator of the degree of humidity in the semi-arid and arid areas. Our study confirms that Ar/Am roughly corresponded to the wet and dry conditions of the climate vertical zone in this area. To some extent, the low Ar/Am ratio for shrub steppe also reflected the influence of human activities on shrub steppe. Compared with the western slope of Kanas, the characteristics of sporopollen assemblage zones in the Hongshanzui region were incomplete, and the distribution height of similar sporopollen zones in this area was higher than that on the western slope of Kanas. In addition, the results of RDA on sporopollen assemblages and environmental factors (mean annual temperature (MAT), mean annual precipitation (MAP) and altitude (ALT)) revealed that the MAP was the main environmental factor affecting sporopollen assemblages in the surface soil in the Hongshanzui region.

Key words: Altai Mountains, surface sporopollen, vegetation coverage, environmental factor, Ordination analyses